Figured You Out

- 3 -


Yosuke had felt like he was never going to get home that night.

The store had been trashed by the customers, and having to straighten it all out while being short-staffed was even worse. Half the staff had to be back there early in the morning just to finish putting out the shipment that they didn't have time to put out on the shelves since they had gotten so busy on the sales floor.

By the time his bike skidded to a stop outside of his house, it was already almost eleven that evening.

By the time he had gone through his normal routine after returning home from a night's work, he was lounging in his desk chair at ten till twelve.

He had a plate of some leftovers on his desk, gradually devouring it since he was starved. The last thing he had eaten that day was a delicious meal by his best friend. Speaking of which, he hadn't heard anything from him since earlier that day.

Yosuke took a bite of rice, looking over at his phone nearby. He figured the guy was probably just busy folding paper cranes again or spending time with Nanako since they hadn't been able to much lately. It felt like they had finally been given a free vacation of sorts without having to venture into the TV world anymore.

"Yoooosukeeeee!"

That annoying tone of voice made him cringe as he barely swallowed some rice before staring over at the doorway to see blonde hair.

"What is it Ted?"

"I wanna watch my show!"

"Well go watch it downstairs, I'm about to watch mine."

"F-F-Fine!" Teddie disappeared, the sound of footsteps trampling down the stairs made him thankful that neither of his parents had returned home yet.

Rolling his eyes, he didn't mean to sound super annoyed but he was still unreeling from the stressful night at work. As he finished the last bite of his meal, he grabbed the controller, turning up the TV as the re-run of his favorite show was about to come on.

The sudden sound of lightning struck outside. Any prospect of him viewing the TV was ruined seconds later as the power went out. A downpour of rain pounded onto the rooftop, easily letting Yosuke know that a storm just hit Inaba given how he was on the second floor of the house.

"Holy fuc-"

The obscenity was cut off as his TV suddenly fizzled on. Unlike the night before, everything was crystal clear. It made his heart lurch, and he suddenly felt his hand grabbing for his phone. Just as he was about to dial his best friend's number, it was already too late.

"Hello ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Never Alone."

Cheesy over-dramatic music started up just as a familiar figure appeared on-screen dressed in a white suit, and as the gaze filled the screen gold-eyes had been replaced with steel-grey.

"In this week's episode, I'll be undergoing the search for the love of my life. Will I find it in my nurse Serena, my childhood friend Elaine, or even my right-hand man?"

Images flashed showing the mysterious figure embracing one woman at a time, and then eventually the music grew so loud and the screen showed the lone figure once more as the words never alone appeared once more as a title and in tacky, cursive writing. It was definitely a soap opera.

"Stay tuned for the alternate ending. If I end up alone, there's no point in even breathing."

Golden eyes gleamed brighter than before, a faint smirk outlining on its features just as the screen went black.

Yosuke's right eye twitched slightly at first before he started to fill with panic. The sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs signaled that Teddie had also seen every second of what just played.

"Y-Y-Y-Yosukeeeee!"

"I know Ted."

A ringtone shot through the room and Yosuke instantly picked it up.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

"Chie-"

"I'M ABOUT TO GO TO BED AND NARUKAMI-KUN IS ON THE TV IN THIS SOAP OPERA-"

"Chie, calm-"

It sounded like the phone was being pulled away. A second later a calmer voice was on the line.

"Yosuke?"

"Yukiko?"

"Sorry I was staying over here tonight."

"Oh right."

"My own cell is already ringing from Kanji and now Rise. I think we all just need to meet up now."

"Me and Teddie are on our way."

Yosuke hung up. Already moving across his room to gather the necessary equipment just as he looked over at the blonde.

"Suit up; we have to go see what the hell is going on with Yu."

"On it~kuma!"

It wasn't to say Yosuke was annoyed again; he just hated returning to Junes not even an hour after leaving the place. Careful to avoid suspicion, they managed to sneak into the electronics area and jump into the TV without any issue.

The moment they were in the central area and Teddie began to figure out what direction to start heading, Yosuke grew nervous.

The anxious feeling had been in him ever since the night before when the TV first showed his best friend. And now, it was all real. He was somewhere in the TV, his life possibly at risk. He knew that the other had more than enough means to survive given his talented abilities in battle, but it was more so that they all knew what a shadow-self can do to you.

It can fuck up your mind. No matter how calm and collected you might seem, it can find the one thing to say that is your deepest secret. Something you would never want anyone else to know or to see and it can always twist the words in a way that just make you want to scream. It makes you want to scream that one phrase that increases the risk of your life ending by ten-fold.

Knowing Yu he was always calm and collected, he had that way of staying in control of most situations. But the gut feeling Yosuke had right now; it was saying that it might not be the case here.

"It should be up ahead~kuma!"

Their glasses allowed them to see every feature of the house that looked exactly like the Dojima residence. It made an eerie feeling fall over the group, especially when the lights were even on inside.

"I'm really not liking this guys." Chie mumbled as they began to approach the building a little slower than before.

They hadn't encountered a single shadow yet. Usually there was some sort of resistance on the way to the area or while in the dungeon. But this was much too small to be a dungeon, or so they though.

Once they entered inside, the immediately glanced around to see no threat or any sign of their leader on the first floor. Moving up the stairs, they opened the door that would've led to his room, but in only ended up being another set of stairs.

"What the hell, this is Senpai's room right?" Kanji was looking between the door and at the new set of stairs like it was completely out of place because it was.

Rise activated her persona, letting the sensors run for a moment to accurately survey the area. "It's a trait of the dungeon. It looks like there are ten floors here."

"Well as long as there aren't any shadows then I guess it's fine." Yukiko saw the others nod in agreement as they started up the set of stairs to end up back in the living room again.

It felt like going in circles, almost to the extent that it made a few of them dizzy. But when they were finally reaching the last floor, everyone could feel how the rising tension in the air grew to an all-time high. The floor was much darker, but there was a light at the top of the stairs.

Steadily moving up the stairs, Yosuke took to the front, almost desperate to at least see that his friend was okay. He had his kunais at the ready, almost half-expecting some sort of dirty trick to be played as soon as they neared the bedroom.

"You like this don't you? You like being close to someone. Don't worry; I'll never leave you alone."

"Partner?"

Everyone stopped before entering the room. The shadow that resembled every fabric of Yu aside from the golden eyes looked over at them. The shadow remained on top of the mirroring image of himself, never moving away as he spoke lowly.

"It seems the show can finally start now."

Yosuke felt his heart stop when he saw gold eyes stare directly at him. It felt like he was looking right into his soul.